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Scholar: Chongqing Practice to Revive Mao’s Control Bound to Fail

Zhang Ming, a professor of political science at Renmin University of China, wrote about Chongqing’s attempt to restore Mao’s model of control. In recent years, under the leadership of Bo Xilai, who was removed from his position this month, Chongqing launched a campaign to crack down on “black” businesses and their owners; and a movement to sing “red” songs in an attempt to revive Mao’s style of control. According to Zhang, there are two major vulnerabilities inherent in the Chongqing practice. First is that it is not economically sustainable. A number of grand government projects have been launched without considering the cost; they were funded largely with money that may have been wrongfully confiscated from “black” businesses. Neither borrowing nor advancing funds before the revenue came in has helped to ease the lack of funding. Second, Chongqing’s practices have led to increased tension, internally and externally. A Chongqing practice as implemented in one city is merely a pike fish in a carp fish pond (the entire country). If materialized nation-wide, the Chongqing practice would become a mammoth shark. Communist Party officials who previously were persecuted during the “Great Cultural Revolution” still remember Mao’s way of using political movements to purge others. “The louder the noises generated by Chonqing’s practice and the more followers it gathered throughout the country, the more apprehensive were the Communist Party officials. Not just those in Chongqing but those outside of Chongqing were equally apprehensive. Because of these two vulnerabilities, it was inevitable that Chongqing’s practices would end up in trouble.”

Source: Zhang Ming Blog at, March 24, 2012